Wednesday, February 4, 2015
It strikes me as exactly the opposite.
To be clear, I don’t think that I am anti-woman. I love playing with story and seeing things from multiple perspectives. I welcome the idea of an all-female retelling of “Ghostbusters.” I love when shows like “Buffy” turn gender stereotypes on their ear. (I also think Idris Elbe would make a wonderful next Bond.) The difference in those cases being that a story is being retold or reimagined.
In the case of “Doctor Who” the conceit is that this is one long story happening to a single being. (Albeit an alien who periodically regenerates into a new body with new personality traits.) It is, however, the same being with (largely) the same memories and values. If the Doctor were to suddenly, after 1000+ years, change gender, it would not be a win for women. It would render gender meaningless.
(I realize that a lot of “feminists” want exactly that… the nullification of gender. To me that seems to belittle women even more than they have been in the past.)
I would love to see more spin-offs exploring female characters in the Who universe. A female Time Lord would offer the perfect opportunity to explore new messages and themes. But to make gender a meaningless, interchangeable part of personhood would be the wrong path to traipse down. Doctor Who has a long history of wonderful, strong female characters. We want more of that, not a move that makes femininity an irrelevant, toss-away quality.